The first day of workouts for pitchers and catchers is always a bit confusing — well, confusing for the new players at least.
That’s due to the long and complicated workout schedule that’s posted for the players on the wall inside the clubhouse.
Bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek (“Stelly”) is responsible for making camp go smoothly and he has his own unique way of communicating that in his schedule. Left-hander Craig Breslow spent the final four months of last season with the Twins, but Monday marked the first time that he had to read the Spring Training schedule.
Breslow seemed excited to see there was a schedule for the day posted. But he stood in front of it with other Twins players for a bit of time as they tried to figure out where they all were supposed to go first.
Starter Scott Baker might have had the best definition for the schedule when he called it, “controlled chaos”
I used the morning to wander out on the fields watching the pitchers drills. Although I caught a glimpse of a little PFP (pitchers fielding practice), the majority of my time was spent by the bullpen to see some of the new guys throw. I was particularly interested to see R.A. Dickey and his knuckleball — which Mike Redmond caught with more success than I expected. One interesting thing about Dickey’s knuckleball is the speed at which he can throw it, much harder than some other knuckleballers.
In addition to the news that I wrote Monday about Boof Bonser’s cortisone shot and an update on Joe Mauer’s health, there were a few other items of note.
Francisco Liriano was the only pitcher not present for the first day of workouts. It’s the second straight year that the lefty has reported late to camp, but this time it was out of his control. Liriano’s flight on Sunday morning from the Dominican Republic was canceled. He and third base prospect Deibinson Romeo tried to get a later flight but that too was canceled. So the expectation is that both players would fly in on Monday and they’d be in camp on Tuesday.
Twins manager Ron Gardenhire read a note on his desk after the workout that said Alexi Casilla and Carlos Gomez were going on Tuesday to get their drivers license. It was unclear whether this would be the first time for the players to get them because often players from other countries have to get a new license every year. Drivers licenses are only issued for the length of time for a player’s visa. So those players who are on one-year contracts have to constantly get new ones, which means taking the tests over again too — doesn’t exactly sound like fun to me.
Luis Ayala threw in the bullpen for the first time on Monday, but his deal with the Twins has not yet been finalized. So a corresponding move on the 40-man roster still has to take place.
All right, Day 1 of big league camp is in the books…more to come on Tuesday.